I notice I am most happy when I am:

  • present & engaged in my life,
  • physically active in various ways,
  • allowing myself to have play and have fun,
  • nurturing important relationships (including with myself), &
  • consistently progressing toward my next step.

When I choose to make these things priority, I am wiring my brain for happiness!!
Did you know we have four different “Feel Good chemicals” in our brain? Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphins, & Serotonin.

  • Dopamine motivates us to move toward a goal or a reward. I keep my dopamine levels up by always having a goal–both short-term (like learning cool new pole tricks)  and longer-term (like earning a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy).
  • Seratonin comes from safety and respect and creates a feeling of self-respect. When I intentionally engage in the moment and let myself have fun; when I notice the things I do well and feel a sense of humble pride, I am building seratonin.
  • Oxytocin is a “binding chemical” that is associated with trust and belonging. It has been called the “love hormone,” so that’s fun. ;)  To introduce oxytocin into my system, I do things that nurture trust, like be trustworthy, give and receive hugs, and … take risks that allow others to show me that I belong with them and that they can be trusted.
  • Endorphins promote euphoria and determination. They are a natural pain reliever–and they are turned on by pain. To stimulate my endorphins, I participate in a variety of exercise that is fun for me, I laugh, and I cry.
(Click here to read more about natural “feel good” chemicals.)

Did you notice a theme of intentional risk and pain involved in the creation of those happy chemicals? If you leave it to logic and reason, it doesn’t make much sense, does it? It seems kind of oxy-moron-ish

“Feel good” and risk? “Happiness” and pain?  Guess what … it WORKS!

Here’s a prime example of what happens when you decide to risk pain and stare fear in the face!

Do you know I first tried “dancing” as sort of a rebellion? I finally said “yes” to a repeated challenge to  “Just move my body to three songs” to prove “I CAN’T DO IT, SO LEAVE ME ALONE!” Well, if you have seen my social media or follow my IG story don’t think it’s hard to see which side won the argument…?? Now I’m looking for friends to come dance with me!! (It’s WAY more fun, AND it’s a super great workout!!! ^insert subtle hint here^)
Have you experienced anything like this? Is there something you do now that you swore you could “never” do? (Sometimes I think the word “never” was designed to be a clue…)OR… Is there anything you’ve been resisting that you wish would just leave you alone?

I am loving being a part of the Heart & Soul Link Up. Head over to lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com to find a collection of blog posts that are good for the heart and soul!

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